What is DI?
Donor insemination (DI) uses sperm from a donor to help the woman become pregnant. Sperm donors are screened for sexually transmitted diseases and some genetic disorders. In DI, sperm from the donor is placed into the womb at the time when the woman ovulates. So, DI is IUI using donor’s sperm instead of partner’s sperm. Donor sperm can also be used for in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Is DI for me?
DI may be recommended if:
- your partner is unable to produce sperm
- your partner’s sperm count or quality is so poor that it is unlikely to result in the conception of a baby, even if ICSI is carried out
- your partner has a high risk of passing on an inherited disease
- you do not have a male partner.
Counselling for DI patients and partners
Counselling is regarded as being essential before DI treatment is offered to you.
Try to talk to those who already have donor-conceived children. Whatever your situation, it can help you to talk through your feelings.
For an online source of support and guidance, you may want to contact the self-help group, the Donor Conception Network.
How does DI work?
Before proceeding with donor insemination, a tubal patency test should be performed. Screening tests for blood group, HIV, HTLV-1, hepatitis B & C, syphilis, CMV, Chlamydia and gonorrhoea will be carried out. In addition you will have screening to ensure that you are immune to Rubella (German Measles) and you don’t have an abnormal haemoglobin that can cause anaemia.
You will have a blood test to check your hormone profile . The selection of a suitable donor is now carried out.
You may be given fertility drugs to boost egg production.
You will have serial ultrasound scans and urine tests to find out when you are ovulating. The donated sperm are inserted into the womb using a procedure called intrauterine insemination (IUI).